Updated: December 2023
There’s no denying it, AI writing bots are here to stay. And, you may be surprised to hear that rather than slamming my laptop shut in fear, I’m excited about using ChatGPT to write better copy for my clients.
I’ll admit it; at first, I was a bit apprehensive about ChatGPT’s capabilities.
Was this magical genius AI program going to make me obsolete? Would all my clients fire me in favor of this WAY-above-average robot?
As I learned how to use it, I realized that ChatGPT is an incredibly useful research and writing assistant that can make my job much more manageable.
But it won’t replace professional copywriters.
Because it can only work with the quality of input that the user provides. Skilled writers still need to apply their knowledge and experience to produce compelling and creative copy.
And there’s another reason: good copy takes a lot of work and a deep understanding of your client. It requires measured research, including client interviews, Voice of Customer research, customer journey awareness, planning, writing, editing AND creativity.
In this blog post, I’ll share how I use ChatGPT as part of my copywriting process. We’ll cover the basics of ChatGPT, how it works, its limitations and the benefits of using it for copywriting.
Eager to try it out for yourself?
I’ll share a basic step-by-step guide on using ChatGPT for copywriting and tips for using it effectively.
By the end of this post, you’ll understand why if you want better copy that sells, your copywriter needs to embrace it.
Let’s get chatting.
What is ChatGPT?
You can’t open a new tab on your computer without seeing a daunting headline such as this one from the New York Times…
And for good reason.
AI isn’t new; but the capabilities of programs like Jasper, DALL-E and ChatGPT are like nothing we’ve ever seen before for producing human-like content.
According to ChatGPT ;), it’s a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on the input and prompts it receives. It’s capable of understanding and responding to conversational language. Some even say it works better when you chat to it like it’s a person!
Here’s how it works:
ChatGPT analyzes large amounts of data to learn how language works and then uses that knowledge to generate new text. And all text is fair game – sales pages, books, emails, social media captions, the list goes on.
And here’s what’s even wilder…
Once trained, ChatGPT can generate text based on the patterns it’s learned from your prompts, and you can direct it to write things based on your earlier feedback.
But writing isn’t even the start of how I use it for my copywriting work.
How I Use ChatGPT to Write Better Copy
When it comes to copywriting, ChatGPT can be used for much more than a generic and bland first draft, but if you don’t know how to use it, it will definitely give you a bland first draft.
As more and more people are using the app, it is becoming much easier to recognize ChatGPT-produced copy. I’ve been hired to rewrite sales pages, emails and landing pages because the bot can’t hit the mark.
For your potential customer, good copy should read as if it’s a conversation in which the sales person (your copy) completely understands your needs and the solution you seek.
That means a lot of information goes needs to be sourced upfront before you even attempt to start writing.
The trick to getting good copy is to prompt the chat with specific information to generate a usable response. Then rewrite or re-prompt the program to give you a better response over and over again.
As you layer in information based on the research and formula of high-converting copy, you eventually get something usable.
Read on for a further explanation of what I mean.
Prompting ChatGPT for Copy
I like to think of ChatGPT as a junior copywriter or writing assistant because it’s very good at searching the internet and synthesizing its findings. It’s also good at producing a passable first draft if it has the right prompts.
The key to getting a passable first draft is patience, and process. Someone in one of my AI courses said it best: “Don’t try to shortcut the shortcut,” and it’s true.
High-quality, creative and effective copy takes a lot of work, and while ChatGPT can assist with it, you still need to know how to prompt it.
Here is a sample of a few things you must ‘seed’ the bot with in order to get a first draft:
- Target audience: provide the avatar, including their age, gender, interests, and pain points. Supply your research, including the insights and voice of customer that resonates with the audience and addresses their specific needs. Don’t rely solely on the app for research here.
- Product or service: feed the chat with the product/service features, benefits, and unique selling points.
- Competition: tell the bot about/use it to research your competition to understand how their product or service compares so you it can assist you with unique messaging.
- Tone and style: what tone and style resonates with the audience and suits the product? Feed the style and tone into ChatGPT with instructions on how to write it.
- Formula: while ChatGPT knows some formulas, thoroughly explain the copywriting formula and ensure it understands what you want.
- Call to action: whether it’s to make a purchase, sign up for a free trial, or request more information, the bot needs the CTA to understand the point of the copy.
These are just a few layered prompts the bot will need to develop viable answers. Once you have those, you can start to write and revise subsequent drafts, inserting creativity and texture into the writing.
Why Clients Should Hire Copywriters Who Use ChatGPT
You may be thinking, but I have a great copywriter. Our results are amazing!
And that’s awesome, but ChatGPT will make the writing better simply because it can assist in research and fresh ideas that are beyond any one person or team.
Once you’ve written your final draft, you can feed it to the program to ensure you are clearly getting your point across.
It may also save time and money and you’ll reap the benefits of improved efficiency, consistency, and a competitive edge, all of which will ultimately contribute to your success.
That’s why it’s crucial to partner with a copywriter who has the training, experience, and latest tools to create high-quality copy that resonates with your target audience.
Want to Use ChatGPT Yourself?
I’ve had a lot of fun nailing down some best practices by using ChatGPT daily. If you’re curious about using it in your own business, here’s a step-by-step guide along with tips and best practices:
Step 1: Choose a prompt
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll need to choose a prompt. This is the starting point for the text that ChatGPT will generate.
An example prompt could be: you are an expert copywriter writing a sales email to your email subscriber list.
Step 2: Set parameters
Before you start generating text, you’ll need to set some parameters, like the length of the text, the tone of voice, and any specific keywords or phrases you want to include. See section above!
Step 3: Generate text
Once you’ve set your guidelines, you can start generating text. ChatGPT will use your prompt and parameters to generate text that fits your specifications. You can continue generating text until you find something you’re happy with.
ChatGPT Best Practices and Limitations:
- Never rely solely on ChatGPT for customer insights, Voice of Customer, psychographics, behaviors, etc. Your clients are unique to your business so seek out their specific feedback and feed the app
- Keep your prompts specific and focused to generate more relevant text
- Experiment with different parameters to find the best fit for your needs
- Use ChatGPT to generate ideas and inspiration, but always edit and refine the final product to ensure quality
- Don’t rely solely on ChatGPT for your copywriting needs. It’s a powerful tool but not a replacement for human creativity and expertise.
- Fact-check everything!
Using ChatGTP to Make “New Work” Better
There’s no point in fighting technological advances. ChatGPT is here to stay, and it’s revolutionary. So, I’ve embraced it to write better copy for all my clients.
As Seth Godin wrote here, the emergence of AI writing tools “means that creating huge amounts of mediocre material is easier than ever before… If your work isn’t more useful or insightful or urgent than GPT can create in 12 seconds, don’t interrupt people with it. Technology begins by making old work easier, but then it requires that new work be better.“
So, I’m choosing to use ChatGPT to make new work better. Every copywriter would be smart to do so, too.
Wondering what AI trainings I’ve taken? I highly recommend them:
Sam Woods, The AI Copywriting Workshops
Copy School, Master of AI Copy
Analyzing Voice of Customer To Write Micro-Stories with ChatGPT, Expert Up Club